Preparation (2 ½ - 3 hours):
Wash the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. (Don’t touch your eyes during this operation and wash hands thoroughly afterward, or better, wear rubber gloves)
Boil the pods in a little water for 30 minutes, or until you can remove the skin. Save the peppery water for use later.
Grind the pulp with a little peppery water in the blender. Add the paprika if the mash is not red enough to suit you. For a less-flavorful alternative, you can just use 1 tbsp Gebhardt’s chili powder to replace each pepper pod.
Use a heavy pot, preferably cast iron and well-seasoned.
Heat the rendered suet or a little vegetable oil in the pot.
Brown the diced or ground beef over medium high heat until well browned, in several loads. Each load should have space between the pieces of meat so that they brown all over and don’t start stewing. A dark brown crust will give you the best beefy flavor, so brown more than you think. High heat causes the outside to brown while the inside stays uncooked.
Return all the beef to the pot, add the mashed pepper pods, and as much peppery water (or tap water if you run out) as you’ll need to keep the chili from burning. You can watch it and add more water as it cooks to keep the consistency right.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes.
from heat and add oregano, cumin, salt,
Bring to a boil again and simmer for 45 minutes, keeping the lid on as much as possible. Stir when necessary but too much stirring will tear up the meat, especially if the meat is too tender. Add more peppered water (or water) if the mixture gets close to burning. You need to keep the consistency as you like it, since it’s possible to have this come out like chunks of spice-encrusted beef rather than chili!
Remove from heat
Skim off the grease to reduce your fat intake, if you like.
Mix in the Masa Harina to thicken and impart a nice tamale-like taste. If you can’t find that regular corn flour or corn meal makes a substitute.
Return to heat and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the meat is done.
Taste and adjust salt and heat level. If you really need more kick you can add whole chilis without seeds and skins. You might find that adding water to make it more soupy can stretch the recipe out and maybe even make it taste better.
Rest it in the refrigerator overnight if
you can, to improve the flavor and bring more fat to the surface to skim. It’s amazing how the flavor improves with a